Archive for July, 2010

Mom threw teen out of the house: When is enough enough?

Yesterday I got a very distressing note from one of the moms in our community. Her battle with her disrespectful teenager had reached critical mass and she had told her almost 18-year-old they were no longer welcome at home. The mother is completely torn up inside not knowing if she has done the right thing, but she felt she couldn’t let her child continue to treat her this way.

The mother’s full letter is below. She is keeping the gender of the child neutral as not to sway the audience. Please be gentle and constructive in your advice or criticism. She is truly looking for a sounding board and some help. She’s not sure she’s done the right thing or even what to do next.

Here’s what the mother wrote:

“My question is …  when is enough, enough?

I have a 17 yo who shows no respect to my husband (not the father) and even less respect to me.  I love this child, have tried to do the best I can and have twisted myself into a pretzel to be an involved parent.  School was never …

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Stinky feet and fart jokes: We’ve hit a new stage!

All of a sudden we have entered the stinky feet and fart joke stage of childhood.

It started with a car trip a few weeks ago where Rose’s feet were stinking up the minivan. (She has a bad habit of no socks with her tennis shoes.) Michael who was behind the wheel at the time commented on the terrible smell wafting forward, which the kids of course thought was hysterical! From that point on, it was all stinky feet, stinky feet, stinky feet. They all stick their feet up in the air and sing a little song about stinky feet.

From the stinky feet they have jumped off into fart references. “Wow” Rose yells while they watch TV. “Somebody farted.” Then she says nonsensically “Whoever smelt it, dealt it.” So clearly she dealt it but then they all go around the room denying it was them — even the 3-year-old. It’s kind of funny but I’m worried they’ll do it in front of others and probably can’t lead anywhere good.

Do you remember the stinky feet and fart joke stage? How …

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Are video games the cause of attention problems?

A new study says that kids who play video games more than 2 hours a day are way more likely to have attention problems.

From the story on CNN:

“Elementary school children who play video games more than two hours a day are 67 percent more likely than their peers who play less to have greater-than-average attention problems, according to the study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics.”

“Playing video games and watching TV appear to have roughly the same link to attention problems, even though video games are considered a less passive activity, the researchers say.”

This story disturbs me because I know during the summer my kids are often getting more than two hours of screen time a day. We finally let Walsh get a DSI this summer. (He saved up a large portion of the money.) But he is on it a lot. Now the DSI does have a lot of interactive creative stuff that he is doing on it. For example, he draws comic books that move. He also can take photos and …

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Holiday catch up: Tattooing kids, daycare centers closing

I did a quick catch up on the news last night and these two stories caught my eye. I wanted to make sure you guys saw them too.

Has your day care center closed?

The AJC’s Gracie Bond Staples reports that as the recession has deepened and parents’ work hours were cut or they lost their jobs, literally thousands of child-care facilities have closed their doors.

From the AJC’s story:

“… Last year, the state lost 600 child-care centers and more than 1,800 family day-care homes such as George-Roach’s, according to a new study by Quality Care for Children, a non-profit that works to improve quality and access to child care.”

“That was a 19-percent drop in child-care centers from 2008, said Pam Tatum, Quality Care for Children CEO. Family home-care facilities dropped 34 percent. It’s a trickle-down effect: Parents lose jobs, day-care bills are placed at the bottom of the stack and the children are caught in the middle.”
“Vacancies have increased dramatically …

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Do all brothers and sisters fight this much?

My two oldest children have spent the entire summer thus far in mortal combat. Every single thing is a fight. That’s my swim noodle. That’s my towel. That was my ice cream.

The fights often start with mimicking (a new method of annoying others they recently learned) and then moves into one taking a swipe at the other. Then I get the “Mom, Rose hit me in the chest.” I’ve started just punishing both of them because often they are both at fault — one annoying the other and then the other reacting.

We’ve been trying to get a lot of exercise but even doing fun activities they manage to fight. We’ve been swimming at a friend’s pool a lot and they fight over who will play in the hot tub area or who will pretend to be lifeguard. I make them swim laps when it gets excessive. I tell them they need to be grateful they’re getting to swim all the time and they need to stop fighting and just appreciate that.

Maybe they just need more time apart. Maybe it’s the age. (The little …

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Best no muss, no fuss family 4th fireworks?

Growing up only a few miles from Stone Mountain Park, we were able to watch the mountain’s fireworks every year from our driveway. Before the big show started, the neighborhood kids would shoot off bottle rockets from the cul-de-sac and run around with sparklers. We’d eat watermelon and lemonade and visit with our neighbors from down the street. We never had to get involved with traffic, lines or crowds. It was pure fun with absolutely no inconvenience.

Sadly the trees in my parent’s yard have grown too tall to view the fireworks but now I’m spoiled by my lovely childhood fourth of July experiences. I’m unwilling to wait in lines, deal with drunk people or invest hours in guarding a spot to view fireworks so we’ve had to search each year for no muss, no fuss easy Independence Day celebrations.

(Here’s the AJC’s list of all the fireworks displays and other Fourth of July events across the metro area.)

For two years we met our friends in the Wal-Mart parking lot …

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Send me your hot parenting/marriage/divorce topic ideas!!

We are officially in the doldrums of summer so we need some hot topics to keep us stimulated during this draining time. So this is your official call out to send me your best ideas to use throughout the month of July.

You guys can ask questions and throw out topics anonymously that I can’t approach. So feel free to send me your parenting questions, concerns, dilemmas. Let me know if I can use your logon or if you want to be completely unidentified. I’m happy to do it either way.

Photius already sent us a great one!

You can write it in below or email me at If you write them in below don’t discuss now!!!! You will ruin the discussion. You have to wait!

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OK to dress girls like boys?

Vanity Fair magazine interviewed Angelina Joilie about her kids and one of the big questions was why Shiloh, her daughter, was always dressed like a boy. (And she truly does always look like a boy — boy clothes, boy haircut.)

From E! online quoting the Vanity Fair story quoting Angelina Jolie (There is a photo of Shiloh with the link:

“Shiloh, we feel has Montenegro style. It’s how people dress there. She likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits. So it’s a suit with a tie and a jacket and slacks, or a tracksuit. She likes to dress like a boy. She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.”

Our 3-year-old does try to imitate her brother and sister so I can understand that part of it. Lilina has worn mostly hand-me downs from her sister and even sometimes her brother. This summer she’s been wearing his blue sport sandals from four years ago. I bought her new girlie sandals but she likes his better. …

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